“We want to have a great relationship with Pakistan, but they house the enemy. They take care of the enemy. We just can’t do that,” the United States President said. “So, I look forward to meeting with the new leadership in Pakistan. We will be doing that in the not too distant future. But I ended USD 1.3 billion that we paid. I think it was water, we were just paying to Pakistan. So, I ended that,” he continued during a cabinet meeting on Wednesday.
India Today reported on further comments on the matter by Republican Senator Lindsay Graham.
Earlier, South Carolina Senator Lindsay Graham, who is considered close to President Trump, told CNN in an interview that if Pakistan helped the US in bringing the Taliban to the table for negotiations, the US would focus on counterterrorism and the ISIS. The Republican Senator wants the US to offer Pakistan a free trade agreement as an incentive to push the Taliban to the peace table to end the Afghan war.
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“Pakistan and the United States are discussing a proposal about arranging the maiden meeting between Prime Minister Imran Khan and President Donald Trump, officials said on Thursday, hours after Trump said he was looking forward to meeting the Pakistani leadership,” a Pakistani official told The Express Tribune on Thursday.
The senior official who spoke to the outlet on background stated the final deal depends on an undisclosed “positive outcome” of efforts to strike a peace deal in Afghanistan. The official also added that Prime Minister Khan is likely to travel to the United States if “all goes well” during preliminary discussions.
Recent History Between Khan and Trump
“Record needs to be put straight on Mr Trump’s tirade against Pakistan: 1. No Pakistani was involved in 9/11 but Pak decided to participate in US War on Terror. 2. Pakistan suffered 75,000 casualties in this war & over $123 bn was lost to economy [sic]. US “aid” was a miniscule [sic] $20 bn,” Prime Minister Khan tweeted last November after President Trump stated “everyone in Pakistan knew,” regarding Osama Bin Laden’s presence in the country.
“No citizen of Pakistan participated in the infamous attacks on the United States, most of the attackers were from Saudi Arabia, a country which the U.S. government considers an ally despite their role in the spread of the extremist Wahhabism Islamic doctrine,” ValueWalk stated at the time of Khan’s response to Trump.
Where Could This Lead
“Donald Trump is planning to withdraw more than 5,000 of the 14,000 US troops in Afghanistan, a US official and US media have said, in the latest sign Trump’s patience with America’s longest war is wearing thin,” The Guardian reported in December concerning reports of Trump wanting to pull troops out of Afghanistan.
Pakistan has been critiqued on the international stage for not doing enough to fight terrorism, while internal figures claim the country is doing more than they get credit for. The truth is far more complex than either standpoint. Of note, Saudi Arabia barely receives criticism for their role in 9/11 from establishment figures in Washington D.C. despite the role the country has played in spreading extremism, even after the murder of Jamal Khashoggi.